Afghanistan's presidential election

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Witnessed: 1839 times

Regions: Afghanistan

Issues: Elections

Panel: Bronwen Maddox, chief foreign commentator, The Times who has written her briefing column since the start of the Afghan invasion in November 2001.
Nick Meo, Sunday Telegraph foreign correspondent who has been covering Afghanistan since 2001 and reported on the 2004 election.
Emal Pasarly, Multi Media Editor of the BBC World Service Persian-Pashto Section and one of BBC News’ leading experts on Afghanistan. He covered the 2004 Afghan presidential election, interviewing Hamid Karzai and most of the 17 other candidates. He is widely expected to win a second term as president but what impact will the re-election of Hamid Karzai have throughout Afghanistan?
A panel of experts and journalists due to be covering the 20 August elections will be discussing the implications of an election that will take place against a backdrop of increasingly deadly violence.
Criticised because of continuing corruption, the state of the economy and the ongoing insurgency led by the very people he helped oust from power, Hamid Karzai is hoping to win the election in the first round.
With opinion polls suggesting that his support has slumped since he became Afghanistan's first democratically elected leader in 2004, his rivals hope he will be forced to take part in a runoff.
If Hamid Karzai does pull off a first-round victory then key opponents may claim fraud and refuse to accept the outcome.
Furthermore, David Haight, a US colonel in Afghanistan, has also expressed concerns that frustration about the lack of improvement in Afghanistan over the years could turn to frustration if the encumbent is re-elected.
Join us to discuss the full implications of an election which is key to President Barack Obama’s plans to hand over more responsibility to Afghans and eventually withdraw American troops.

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